Happy New Year – Onwards and Upwards!
What a year! Not the most exciting, not the most traumatic, not the most enlightening – but definitely the most challenging. From crossing the spiritual mountains in Japan to being thrust into the wild nights of Soho; from personal drama on an extreme scale, to persistence and perseverance towards my goals, which resulted in the publication of my second novel (the most difficult thing I ever had to write – but, by far, the most rewarding); from the conflict, epiphanies, evolution and, above all, the courage and conviction required in the face of adversity. I’m no stranger to challenge, but this was one year where everything I believed in and much I have been striving for was put to the ultimate test. It has been affirmed to me, once again, that love, friendship and loyalty are far superior to the dark forces that threaten to overwhelm us. We didn’t escape totally unscathed – but we won, nonetheless. And that is why much of my end of year message must go towards the gratitude I feel for family and friends – you all know who you are – who stood by my side, fought with me, leant unfailing support during some of the more darker moments and never once abandoned me, though it would have been entirely understandable if they did so. It is a gratitude I hope to repay ten-fold in future days.
Much has been learned, and with it, much gained. There’s been some vital learning curves and hardship that many of us have undertaken – but it has been necessary in order for us to keep climbing those steps towards our full potential. Nor, on a national scale, can we ignore the threat that faces us from enemies that exist, both outside and inside our own borders. To defeat those who wish to do us harm, it is essential we stand together as one strong, fighting force and never waver in our loyalties to each other.
So now we say goodbye to 2015 – the Year of the Goat. One would not have expected the challenges posed in such a year represented by an animal who, by all accounts, is not considered a threat. But the goat is no ordinary barnyard animal – it has its horns, it has its stubborness, it has its fierce braying when under attack. It is a lesson to never underestimate anyone, regardless of who they are or what they appear to be on the outskirts. Now on to 2016, the Year of the Monkey (lucky for all you monkeys out there – and I know a few!). I hope it will be prosperous, fruitful and flourishing for all of you and that each of us continues striving towards all that is good and just in a world that needs compassion and determination more than ever – Happy New Year!